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Archive for the ‘A-B (by poet name)’ Category

Our band is few, but true and tried,
Our leader frank and bold;
The British soldier trembles
When Marion’s name is told.
Our fortress is the good greenwood,
Our tent the cypress-tree;
We know the forest round us,
As seamen know the sea;
We know its walks of thorny vines,
Its glades of reedy grass,
Its safe and silent islands
Within the dark morass.

Woe to the English soldiery
That little dread us near!
On them shall light at midnight
A strange and sudden fear;
When, waking to their tents on fire,
They grasp their arms in vain,
And they who stand to face us
Are beat to earth again;
And they who fly in terror deem
A mighty host behind,
And hear the tramp of thousands
Upon the hollow wind.

Then sweet the hour that brings release
From danger and from toil;
We talk the battle over,
And share the battle’s spoil.
The woodland rings with laugh and shout,
As if a hunt were up,
And woodland flowers are gathered
To crown the soldier’s cup.
With merry songs we mock the wind
That in the pine-top grieves,
And slumber long and sweetly
On beds of oaken leaves.

Well knows the fair and friendly moon
The band that Marion leads-
The glitter of their rifles,
The scampering of their steeds.
‘Tis life to guide the fiery barb
Across the moonlight plain;
‘Tis life to feel the night-wind
That lifts his tossing mane.
A moment in the British camp-
A moment – and away,
Back to the pathless forest,
Before the peep of day.

Grave men there are by broad Santee,
Grave men with hoary hairs;
Their hearts are all with Marion,
For Marion are their prayers.
And lovely ladies greet our band,
With kindest welcoming,
With smiles like those of summer,
And tears like those of spring.
For them we wear these trusty arms,
And lay them down no more
Till we have driven the Briton,
Forever, from our shore.

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The woman was old and ragged and gray,
And bent with the chill of the winter’s day.

The streets were white with a recent snow,
And the woman’s feet with age were slow.

At the crowded crossing she waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng

Of human beings who passed her by,
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.

Down the street with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of ‘school let out,’

Came happy boys, like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep;

Past the woman, so old and gray,
Hastened the children on their way.

None offered a helping hand to her,
So weak and timid, afraid to stir,

Lest the carriage wheels or the horses’ feet
Should trample her down in the slippery street.

At last came out of the merry troop
The gayest laddie of all the group;

He paused beside her and whispered low,
“I’ll help you across, if you wish to go.”

Her aged hand on his strong young arm
She placed, and so without hurt or harm

He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong;

Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content.

“She’s somebody’s mother, boys, you know,
For all she’s aged, and poor and slow.

And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
To help my mother, you understand,

If ever she’s old and poor and gray,
And her own dear boy so far away.”

And ‘somebody’s mother’ bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said

Was: “God be kind to that noble boy,
Who is somebody’s son and pride and joy!” 

 

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If you your lips would keep from slips,
Five things observe with care:
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak,
And how and when and where. 

If you your ears would save from jeers,
These things keep meekly hid:
Myself and I, and mine and my,
And how I do and did.

 

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I.

As I ride, as I ride,
With a full heart for my guide,
So its tide rocks my side,
As I ride, as I ride,
That, as I were double-eyed,
He, in whom our Tribes confide,
Is descried, ways untried
As I ride, as I ride.

II.

As I ride, as I ride
To our Chief and his Allied,
Who dares chide my heart’s pride
As I ride, as I ride?
Or are witnesses denied—
Through the desert waste and wide
Do I glide unespied
As I ride, as I ride?

III.

As I ride, as I ride,
When an inner voice has cried,
The sands slide, nor abide
(As I ride, as I ride)
O’er each visioned homicide
That came vaunting (has he lied?)
To reside—where he died,
As I ride, as I ride.

IV.

As I ride, as I ride,
Ne’er has spur my swift horse plied,
Yet his hide, streaked and pied,
As I ride, as I ride,
Shows where sweat has sprung and dried,
—Zebra-footed, ostrich-thighed—
How has vied stride with stride
As I ride, as I ride!

V.

As I ride, as I ride,
Could I loose what Fate has tied,
Ere I pried, she should hide
(As I ride, as I ride)
All that’s meant me—satisfied
When the Prophet and the Bride
Stop veins I’d have subside
As I ride, as I ride!

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My Peggy’s face, my Peggy’s form,
The frost of hermit Age might warm;
My Peggy’s worth, my Peggy’s mind,
Might charm the first of human kind. 

I love my Peggy’s angel air,
Her face so truly heavenly fair,
Her native grace, so void of art,
But I adore my Peggy’s heart. 

The lily’s hue, the rose’s dye,
The kindling lustre of an eye;
Who but owns their magic sway?
Who but knows they all decay?

The tender thrill, the pitying tear,
The generous purpose nobly dear
The gentle look that rage disarms –
These are all immortal charms.

 

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I have been so great a lover: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of Love’s praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and still content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair,
For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear
Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife
Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far,
My night shall be remembered for a star
That outshone all the suns of all men’s days.
Shall I not crown them with immortal praise
Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me
High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see
The inenarrable godhead of delight?
Love is a flame:–we have beaconed the world’s night.
A city:–and we have built it, these and I.
An emperor:–we have taught the world to die.
So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence,
And the high cause of Love’s magnificence,
And to keep loyalties young, I’ll write those names
Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames,
And set them as a banner, that men may know,
To dare the generations, burn, and blow
Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming . . . .
These I have loved:
……………..White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such–
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair’s fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year’s ferns. . . .
……………………………………………………Dear names,
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water’s dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the ground; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body’s pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass;–
All these have been my loves. And these shall pass,
Whatever passes not, in the great hour,
Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power
To hold them with me through the gate of Death.
They’ll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath,
Break the high bond we made, and sell Love’s trust
And sacramented covenant to the dust.
—-Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake,
And give what’s left of love again, and make
New friends, now strangers. . . .
……………………………….But the best I’ve known
Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown
About the winds of the world, and fades from brains
Of living men, and dies.
……………………………….Nothing remains.
O dear my loves, O faithless, once again
This one last gift I give: that after men
Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed,
Praise you, ‘All these were lovely’; say, ‘He loved.’

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If I had the power to turn back the clock,
Go back to that house at the end of the block.
The house that was home when I was a kid,
I know that I’d love it more now than I did.

If I could be back there at my mother’s knee,
And hear once again, the things she told me.
I’d listen now as I never listened before,
For she knew so well what life had in store.

And all the advice my dad used to give…
His voice I’ll remember as long as I live.
But it didn’t seem really important then;
What I’d give to live it all over again.

What I’d give for the chance I once had,
to do so much more for my mom and dad.
To give them more joy and a little less pain,
A little more sunshine – a little less rain.

But years roll on and I cannot go back,
Whether I was born in a mansion or a shack.
I can start right now in the hour that’s here,
To do something more for the ones I hold dear.

And since time in its flight is traveling so fast,
I can’t spend it regretting that which is past.
But I’ll try to make tomorrow a happier day,
By doing my good unto others…Today.

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I wish I had been His apprentice,
To see Him each morning at seven,
As He tossed His gray tunic about Him,
The Master of earth and of heaven;

When He lifted the lid of His work-chest
And opened His carpenter’s kit,
And looked at His chisels and augers,
And took the bright tools out of it;

When He gazed at the rising sun tinting
The dew on the opening flowers,
And He smiled at the thought of His Father
Whose love floods this fair world of ours;

When He fastened the apron about Him,
And put on His workingman’s cap,
And grasped the smooth haft of His hammer
To give the bent woodwork a tap,

Saying, “Lad, let us finish this ox yoke,
The farmer must finish his crop.”
Oh, I wish I had been His apprentice
And worked in the Nazareth shop.

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A frosty Christmas Eve
when the stars were shining
Fared I forth alone
where westward falls the hill,
And from many a village
in the water’d valley
Distant music reach’d me
peals of bells aringing:
The constellated sounds
ran sprinkling on earth’s floor
As the dark vault above
with stars was spangled o’er.
Then sped my thoughts to keep
that first Christmas of all
When the shepherds watching
by their folds ere the dawn
Heard music in the fields
and marveling could not tell
Whether it were angels
or the bright stars singing.

Now blessed be the tow’rs
that crown England so fair
That stand up strong in prayer
unto God for our souls
Blessed be their founders
(said I) an’ our country folk
Who are ringing for Christ
in the belfries to-night
With arms lifted to clutch
the rattling ropes that race
Into the dark above
and the mad romping din.

But to me heard afar
it was starry music
Angels’ song, comforting
as the comfort of Christ
When he spake tenderly
to his sorrowful flock:
The old words came to me
by the riches of time
Mellow’d and transfigured
as I stood on the hill
Heark’ning in the aspect
of th’ eternal silence. 

 

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When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry ” ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep!”
So your chimneys I sweep and in soot I sleep.

There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb’s back, was shaved, so I said,
“Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head’s bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.”

And so he was quiet, and that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins and set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked and white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he’d be a good boy,
He’d have God for his father and never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags and our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

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